Bingo Pinballs

Created on 07-21-2020


I am not too sure if that article actually states the date of this photo, but it does give us the source` …the Toldeo Blade`





Monday Memories:

The great pinball machine Menace`

Photo of Kirk Baird


Kirk Baird

The Blade

Feb 3, 2020

3:00 AM

It takes a village to raise a child.

It took a Toledo police chief and a sledgehammer to raze a pinball machine.

On Aug. 18, 1960, just as a fretted nation was getting used to Elvis' pelvis –but decades before its fear of video games as an unduly violent influence – Chief Anthony Bosch, three morals squad detectives, and workmen for a local scrap dealer destroyed 26 pinball machines seized in a June 24 raid of a local business. Pinball with its enticing potential of a "free play" reward for years had been considered an act of gambling, and by the mid-1950s Toledo and Columbus led Ohio in making these machines illegal to play and to possess.

The city ordinances were met with stubborn legal resistance at every turn, but their hopes for victory faded after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled unanimously that, as a June 7, 1956, Blade editorial noted, “such machines which reward players with free games are gambling devices and are banned by law.

“[Pinball operators] are wasting some of the profits they reaped while these gambling devices still flourished here,” The Blade added. “Only by continuing the old dodge that theirs are pinballs purely for amusement – no free games, no payoffs – can they sustain the fiction of a legal action.”

By June, 1958, the Supreme Court decided not to review the Ohio Supreme Court's ruling, essentially siding with the pinball ban.

Unfortunately for Thomas O. Worland, the 83-year Toledoan and longtime pinball machine operator didn't heed the rulings or The Blade's advice. It was his pinball machines that were confiscated and destroyed in the above photo, which The Blade titled, “Chief Has Sure Way to Beat Game.” Worland was fined $25 and suffered the financial hit from the destruction of his 26 machines, which were valued at $23,400 in total. That $23,400, when adjusted for inflation, would now be worth more than $200,000.

Pinball operators and manufactures would fight back against the ban by, for example, rewarding good players with an extra ball instead of a free game. But Ohio's Attorney General, William B. Saxbe, said the extra-ball rewards were elements of chance and thus were still illegal gambling devices.

In 1974, following a month-long investigation, police in Bowling Green arrested six on gambling charges and confiscated 30 pinball machines in separate raids of Golden Cue Billiard Room and Sam B.'s Sandwich Shop.

Eventually, the pinball ban would be lifted.

By early February, 1981, for example, the city council of Lorain, Ohio, voted to repeal the 1958 ordinance banning pinball machines. This was six days after the then-police chief of the northwest Ohio city of 85,000 ordered enforcement of the ordinance, forcing pinball distributors to remove the machines from inside the city limits.



For some reason, this makes me suspect that the newspaper is likely a source for other images too`